I wish I could say I’m having a happy Friday, but I have more friends sharing bad coronavirus information. It’s starting to get old.
Speaking of old — here’s what I’m talking about: On May 9, a YouTube channel called Voice of the Majority uploaded a clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci telling CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook that there’s no reason people in the U.S. should wear a mask. One glaring problem: the clip is from a March interview.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in early April updated its guidelines to recommend Americans wear masks in public.
Voice of the Majority has only posted 23 videos and has 1,400 followers, but the out-of-context video, titled “Dr. Fauci now says no masks,” has racked up more than 510,000 views — double the amount it had Thursday. And Google search interest in “60 minutes Fauci masks” hit its peak earlier this week.
Posts referencing the YouTube URL have garnered more than 270,000 reactions, including nearly 40,000 shares, according to CrowdTangle data. I first noticed the video in my Facebook newsfeed, and it appears to be following the same pipeline I noted about “Plandemic” in my Monday newsletter.
Yesterday, users in Facebook groups with names like “OFFICIAL Q / QANON,” “Collective Action Against Bill Gates” and “Independent Thinkers of South Africa” — all public groups — shared the video. But the bulk of interaction appears to be in private groups.
I couldn’t glean much about who uploaded the old clip to YouTube. But following the URL in the user’s email address, I found what appeared to be a Facebook-like social network with this introduction: “You have found a Social Media Community of Amazing People Who Share Your Conservative Values.”
I emailed Voice of the Majority for comment but haven’t heard back.
The bottom line: Make sure you do some research on COVID-19 videos before sharing them, because you can’t always trust the YouTube timestamp. And if you’re out in public, please wear a mask.
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